Thursday, February 12, 2009

What to wear?

Last year was my first winter riding year round. I had the whole what to wear thing down. Then winter 2008-2009 came and I had completely forgotten my guidelines. To top it off, I am not running which is a whole other set of gear to keep track of and DH is riding more in cooler weather so he asks me what he should wear. To prevent this from happening again, I started a chart which has been a good guideline.


Outdoor conditions
30, sunny, windPerformance brand tights over shorts, long sleeve performance T, long sleeve jersey, Pearl Izumi barrier jacket, winter gloves and liners
37, overcast, damp/drizzlePerformance brand tights over shorts, LS T, LS jersey, PI barrier jacket, winter gloves and liners
38 and sunny, no windPerformance brand tights over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, winter gloves and liners
39-66, wind 5-10capris over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, sleeveless jersey, summer gloves w/ liners, mtb socks
40-50, wind 5-10Performance brand tights over shorts, LS T, Novara jacket, winter gloves and liners
50 and overcastcapris, SS jersey with arm warmers, vest
58, damp, humid, wind 5-10shorts, SS jersey with arm warmers, vest

Cycling Gear:
  • Performance brand tights. I get them without chamois and wear them over my bike shorts. I have mostly Pearl Izumi UltraSensor shorts
  • Pearl Izumi Barrier jacket. This is good when it's below 40.
  • Gore Phantom Lady jacket.This is a great jacket for in between temperatures or days that have wild temperature swings. I like it best in the 37-47 temperature range.
  • Novara Tempest jacket. This is one of my favorite items right now. It's warm yet breathable and I've worn it from the low 40s up to about 60 degrees without either freezing or melting. The front panels are wind proof and the rear panels are breathable. If you REI has this model in stock, get it!
  • Headband. Below 50 degrees or so I wear my Pearl Izumi headband to keep my ears warm.
  • Toesies. To keep my feet from becoming bricks of ice, I put Pearl Izumi toe covers on my cycling shoes. I also wear winter weight socks -- DeFeet Wool Blaze
  • Gloves and glove liners. Full finger, winter weight gloves and glove liners are a must. The glove liners that I've used for the past year are Seirus Deluxe Thermax and gloves made with Gore Windstopper fabric.

I've had an easier time with the temperature when I am running since Runner's World has a What to Wear application. That has been a good starting point for me. I've read that for running you should dress for 20 degrees warmer than if what you would wear if you are not running. In other words, if you would wear shorts to go to the grocery store when it is 65 degrees out, you should wear shorts for running when it is 45 degrees outside.

Outdoor conditions
34, sunny, 13 mph windtights, 2 LS performance T, vest (frozen butt)
36 overcast, no windtights, LS performance T, sleeveless t, vest (comfy)
38, sunny, no windtights, LS performance T, vest
45, dark, no windcapris, LS performance T, vest
47, dark, no windskort, LS performance T, reflective belt
53, sunny, 10-15 mph wind
skort, LS performance T (comfy)


  1. You, my dear, are extremely organized! How do you do it???

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